If you saw last night’s great Hidden City episode on Anchorage, you were treated to an excellent — and highly-graphic — overview of the Robert Hansen murders. One of the segments featured the ballistics test on the murder weapon which, as host Marcus Sakey points out, was critical to getting a Robert Hansen confession and conviction.
The true story of the ballistics test on the murder weapon is actually MORE dramatic. Much more dramatic.
Trooper Sgt. Glenn Flothe’s plan was to send the rifle to the FBI Quantico, Virginia, lab for the ballistics. To make sure it got there, he requested that a Trooper hand-deliver the weapon. That request was turned down, so the rifle was sent to Virginia by mail.
Then Flothe got a call from the FBI. Wondering where the rifle was. It hadn’t arrived as expected. As you might imagine, Sgt. Flothe went into a panic. This was the crucial piece of evidence. And now it had gone missing. If only they’d let him hand-deliver that weapon… If only…
Bonus: Video clip of ballistics test, with Bob Shem of the Alaska State Crime Lab.
Thankfully, there was a happy ending. Days later, the rifle showed up on a loading dock. It was sent on to the FBI Quantico, where ballistics tests proved it was the murder weapon. Close call. Way too close.
Robert Hansen’s Attic (with murder weapon)